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Glentanar Reflex 2 – 3 Hazlehead United

1st Touch Football Division Two (East) at Hazlehead on Saturday 19th May

Report by Andy McLaren

Hazlehead United player-manager Duncan Stewart admits this season has been “the best yet” after his side lifted the Division Two (East) title with a 3-2 win over derby rivals Glentaner Reflex at Hazlehead.

United’s boss believes the achievements of his players have been “out of this world” after they also won two cups and reached the semi-final of the North of Scotland Amateur Cup.

He said: “To have twenty four boys in our squad is unbelievable. Our plan is to have a good pre-season but I see no reason why we can’t push on for a second consecutive promotion.

“The standard of amateur football in the Aberdeenshire AFA is extremely strong and competitive. We know it will be hard next season but we are aiming to give it our best shot.”

The league winners have scored over 190 goals in a memorable season for the ex Hazlehead Academy pupils as they comprehensively finished 10 points clear of their nearest rivals, Kemnay Youth.

Despite this, it was Glentanar who started the brighter of the two teams as stand-in goalkeeper Peter Macklin had to be alert as he thwarted Stuart Andrew with a goal saving tackle to prevent the champions from going behind.

Hazlehead always looked the more threatening in attack and it looked a matter of time before United would score when defender Ritchie Skinner had to throw himself at the ball to keep out Kevin Wilson’s goal bound shot.

On 20 minutes, Macklin produced an unbelievable one handed penalty save to deny Danny Flynn after he was fouled in the box.

Immediately after, Hazlehead scored a priceless goal when James Kirkland jinked past two Reflex defenders to calmly slot in his side’s first goal.

Glentanar pressed for a leveller and got it on 30 minutes. The ball bobbled back to Bruce Mason after great determination to chase a heavy touch, and he expertly lobbed Macklin from 15 yards to make it 1-1.

Ultimately though, Glentanar only had themselves to blame for their defensive errors as sloppy marking allowed Ross MacDonald to thump a header into the net.

Reflex began to impose themselves again as Michael Deans punted a long ball to Ryan Legge who made no mistake from 15 yards as he tucked it past the on-rushing goalkeeper.

Half-time: 2 – 2

Hazlehead were relieved again when Legge’s strong hold up play presented Graeme Leslie with a chance from just outside the box, only for Macklin to be equal to it.

But Reflex’s afternoon suddenly became less comfortable as Hazlehead’s impressive Ross MacDonald struck a ferocious shot that rattled the post before going out for a corner.

United promptly scored their third goal on 80 minutes to end a fantastic and unforgettable season with a hard-fought win.

For Glentanar Reflex, it has been a season of mixed fortunes as their mid-table finish means they will have to slog it out for a promotion place in next season’s Division Two.

Full Time: 2 – 3